The great folks at Great British Chefs (who I regularly write for) have recently launched a Cooking With Kids campaign. They have created a fabulous collection of recipes to tempt your charming children into cooking and eating a balanced and exciting diet. Dishes include aubergine parmigiana, bacon stuffed spuds and baked cod in tomato sauce. As well as catering to the tastes of the under 10s, these recipes sound more than a little appealing to this almost-33 year old too.
Recently, Great British Chefs conducted a survey with over 1300 parents on how children are cooking. They've agreed to give my readers a sneak peak at some of the highlights of their survey results with a fun infographic. So here it is!
The full results will be published over on the GBC site tomorrow afternoon, but these preview results certainly make for interesting reading - especially that shocking 7% statistic about how much influence we've taken from our Dads in the kitchen. Tsk tsk. Let's hope the next generation of British adults will have more kitchen-based memories to share with their fathers.
I must admit, my Dad rarely entered the kitchen other than to slice another lemon wedge for a gin and tonic or raid the back of the cupboards hunting down crisps. He made a mean fry up though and always wielded the pan on Pancake Day and you couldn't keep him away from the barbecue on a hot, sunny day, however much you tried. I was definitely more influenced by my mum, who was pretty adventurous and bold compared to most of my friends' parents.
As kids, my sisters and I always ate the same food as our parents - there were no cheap sausage and chip dinners for us, while the grown-ups had chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice. My mum always cooked from scratch and never made a big deal out of it, so I just naturally assumed the same attitude to food as I grew up.
I loved cooking so much as a child, that I was making chocolate profiteroles for my parents' dinner parties when I was 7 or 8 and getting out the silverware and posh napkins for elaborate breakfasts for the whole family on weekends. I might have made a terrible mess and I might have turned out the odd inedible dinner (carrots and minced beef in a whole bottle of soy sauce being one such example), but I knew how to knock up a salad dressing, whip up a Victoria sponge, stuff a tomato and cook a Sunday roast before I left primary school. And what's more, I loved it. It really stood me in good stead for my future and now, I'm proud to say, building on those early days in the kitchen, I can dish up a decent dinner and certainly know my artichokes from my zebra.
Cooking with kids is not only fun for you and them, it helps set them up for a lifetime of good food. What greater gift is there to give them?